Letter to the Editor – PJ Robertson of Morrisburg Ontario on Changes to Upper Canada Village – September 15, 2011

Morrisburg ON – A visit today to Upper Canada Village is a shock.  The Rose Garden has been cleared away. Between sixty and a hundred mature trees have disappeared. Stumps mark the spots where they flourished before.
As a result, what was once beautiful parkland in keeping with the Village’s 19th century rural-agricultural setting is now bare grassland scarred by tree stumps.
The rationale for taking out the Rose Garden and so many trees was, apparently, to open a vista from the road to the Crysler Memorial atop a rise overlooking the St. Lawrence River.  However, the Crysler Memorial was already clearly visible from the road. 
This begs a number of questions: On whose authority did such destruction take place? For what purpose? Why have the tree stumps, several of them sprouting new growth, been left in place?  What does the St. Lawrence Parks Commission have in mind to do next? 
One can only speculate, and speculation is not comforting where the destruction is so naked and unwarranted.
PJ & Rosalind Robertson – Morrisburg ON  
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Moustache Joes


  1. Perhaps MPP Jim Brownell could fill us in on the changes, as he was the parlimentary secretary to the tourism minister.

  2. Right on, Eric. Unfortunately, I’ve since heard that at a public forum attended by the Minister of Tourism Jim spoke forcefully on behalf of constituent objections against such changes, and was shouted down by the minister. Go figure.

  3. I share PJ Robertson’s concern with the desecration of the St. Lawrence Parks gardens and lands. Not only has the rose garden gone so has its designation as Queen Elizabeth rose garden. This terrible mishandling of the St. Lawrence Park lands stems largely from the refusal of Minister Michael Chan to appoint a permanent chairperson, vice chairperson and the correct number of commissioners. No matter what Jim Brownell asked for, even demanded, he was denied every request. Even as a devout Liberal I was so angry with this incompetent minister I wrote a column for the Conservative newspaper, the Standard Freeholder. Of course, they printed my letter but, in true blue style, they did not print the press release of Mark A. MacDonald, the Liberal candidate who supported my position. No political party is perfect and I guess one major failing of the McGuinty government is Chan. Naturally, McGuinty has his hands tied for any political leader would be hard pressed to dismiss an ethnic member of the caucus from a minister’s position.

    On the media subject, the Standard Freeholder did many other dirty tricks to aid their choice of candidate to win in SDSG. I will, possibly highlight some of these as a part of my letter to Peter Padbury, the publisher of that newspaper. Hopefully, Jamie will print a copy of my letter when it is forwarded to him because I sincerely believe, in the interests of democracy, that the media should NOT take sides when it is the sole daily for the area.

    Back to the St. Lawrence Parks mismanagement. More than a year ago I did apply for the position of vice chairman but, of course, there is no hope of my being given any post now that I have criticized Chan for his fumble, bumble mismanagement. My reason for applying had been because I did believe the St. Lawrence Parks Commission was turning in the wrong direction. I continue to believe this but now there is little I can do unless the public in Eastern Ontario is willing to stand behind me with a massive petition to the Premier.

    I look forward to comments.

    John E. Milnes
    South Stormont

  4. I heard that all the trees around Fort Henry in Kingston are going to be removed in order to make it historically correct.

  5. Mr Mines, I for one appreciate your concern and believe a petition is the wrong route. Perhaps you, or other concerned citizens, could start a bank account (probably need 3 people for that) and advertise for donations. These donations could be used for marketing the message and travel costs for in person lobby efforts.

    Facebook, Twitter, Lowel Green and YouTube should also be used to get the message out and reach more people. Perhaps Cornwall Free News could lend video equipment and a reporter….

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